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All About Gutters

Wednesday, August 1st, 2018 by Ashley Rudolphi


 
All About Gutters - Image 1

An inch of rainfall doesn’t sound like much, but it can cause a lot of damage if your gutters are not up to the task of doing their job. Unfortunately, we barely give gutters a second thought until they are clogged, overflowing or coming loose. A simple cleaning might be all you need, but in some cases, they need to be replaced. So, why is it so important to pay attention to your gutters? 
 
 
First, let’s discuss the anatomy of a gutter system.
 
All About Gutters - Image 2
ILLUSTRATION BY JASON LEE (WWW.THISOLDHOUSE.COM)
 
Gutter: Captures water shedding off roof.
End cap: Closes end of gutter.
Fascia bracket: Attaches to eaves; supports gutters from below.
Downspout: Conveys water from gutter to ground. Also known as a leader.
Downspout bracket: Secures downspout to side of house.
Elbow: Changes direction of downspout.
 
Next, why should I clean my gutters and how often?
Cleaning your gutters is one of the most important projects on a homeowner's to-do list, however it’s typically overlooked. It is recommended to clean your gutters twice a year – in the spring and fall. Of course, if you are surrounded by trees, you may want to periodically check to see how your gutters are holding up.
 
The problem with clogged gutters is more than just the annoying waterfalls on rainy days. The excess water can cause major damage to your home’s structure. A gutter system is designed to move water down from the roof and away from the home’s foundation for proper drainage. When the water cannot drain properly, it could work its way into the walls and ceilings of your home.
 
Another concern with debris clogging your gutters is simply, weight. When the debris, such as leaves, gets wet it absorbs the water like a sponge and becomes extremely heavy. Thus, putting tension and stress on the gutters potentially causing the gutters to pull off the house. Falling gutters are costly enough to replace, not to mention any lights or windows they damage on their way down.
 
While cleaning your gutters could be on your DIY project list, most homeowners feel more comfortable hiring a professional. Either way you choose, like most projects, preventative maintenance is key to saving you a lot of money in the future.
 
I just had my gutters cleaned, what’s the best way to keep them clean?
A simple solution is to install Gutter Screens. This will help keep your gutters clean and free of debris. Keep in mind, this is not a full-proof solution. We still recommend you checking your gutters every spring and fall.
 
Check out this short video from our friends at Lowe’s

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